Shirley Hillestad

Shirley Hillestad PhotoShirley Maxine Hillestad, a lifelong Viola resident, died Sunday, November 29, 2015 at Aspen Park Healthcare Center in Moscow at the age of 100.

Shirley was born July 28, 1915 in Viola to John and Fannie (Cuthbert) Byers.  She grew up and attended school at Viola, graduating high school there. She and Vernon C. Hillestad were married on September 12, 1934 at Moscow. They made their home in Viola where Vernon worked as a carpenter and later for the City of Moscow.

Shirley was a homemaker and worked for a time at Moscow Idaho Seed Company.  She was a dedicated and attentive wife, mother and grandmother.  She was also a loyal caretaker to her mother and aunt who lived in a trailer house on her Viola property in their later years.

Shirley was an active member of the Viola Clubhouse and enjoyed quilting and braiding rugs.  She was a self-taught seamstress and made clothes for her grandchildren.  She also enjoyed and mastered the art of gardening.  She loved growing and caring for her flowers, especially red roses.  Even in her late 90’s she would work out in her flower beds and climb the ladder to pick pears and prune trees.

She will be remembered for her good cooking and her ability to make a meal out of anything.  More importantly, she will be remembered for her strength, courage and her ability to always provide a listening ear and words of wisdom to her grandchildren and their families.

Vernon Hillestad died in June of 1992 after 58 years of marriage with Shirley.  Shirley spent the next 23 years maintaining the home they created in Viola.  Shirley is survived by her son and daughter-in-law Charles and Marilyn Hillestad of Viola and her grandchildren, Tim Hillestad of Viola and Tami (Jim) Jeffords of Clarkston and great grandchildren, April, Amber, Crystal and Nicholas as well as a great, great grandson Eli.  She also leaves a brother, Clifford Byers in Lewiston.  In addition to her husband, Shirley was preceded in death by her brother, Louie.

The funeral service will be held Friday, December 4th at 11:00 am at Short’s Funeral Chapel in Moscow. Family friend, Eddie Gray will officiate and burial will follow at the Viola Cemetery.

The family suggests memorials be made to the Viola Community Center, P.O. Box 34, Viola Idaho 83872.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel, Moscow and online condolences may be sent to

2 Responses to Shirley Hillestad

  1. Janet (Loundagin) Crutcher says:

    Shirley was such a sweet woman and so fondly spoken of by my parents, Howard and Lois Loundagin, and Aunt Alta Libey. What a rich long life she had. I am grateful for the times I got to visit with her as a child.
    My sympathies to her family.

  2. Shelly Knott Thiel says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Shirley. When I was younger I used to love to go visit her with mom and Tootie as she would tell the funniest stories about Tootie, or Tuda as she would say, and his face would burn with embarrassment! Then we would tease him for days after we left. My favorite story was when Tootie always told us how far it was to walk to school and Craig and I shouldn’t complain about the short distance we had to walk. I asked Shirley if this was true. She said, “How would he know? Every day he would sit down in the middle of the road and cry that his feet hurt until I would pick him up and carry him to school and home from school!”
    God Bless you Shirley!

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